The 2022 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament
We crowd-source knowledge so you can be properly outraged and disappointed on draft night
Results updated here, the master index for the 2022 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.
The DNHQ Big Board…
Super commenter void has made (again) a web app where you can record your Big Board for our limited pool of “Might Fall To #28” Tourney participants.
void’s DNHQ Big Board Vote Site
The winner of our 2022 DNHQ Draft Tournament is…
E.J. Liddell 37% WINNER
Jalen Williams 35%
Wendall Moore 15%
Christian Braun 13%
It was a close race between Jalen Williams and E.J. Liddell. The Twitter poll winner incidentally was Braun.
We share the Group Stage results, and then the scouting reports and videos for the finalists.
Group Stage Results
Just to show the results aren’t fixed, all but one of my guys got crushed in the vote. I am definitely pushing for a high-risk, high-reward swing, and DNHQ strongly feels differently, voting for the safest bets to contribute right away.
Christian Braun 39% ADVANCES
Christian Koloko 31%
Blake Wesley 29%
Bryce McGowens 1%
Nate P says: My vote is for Braun.
McGowens has a trio of negatives that I can't get behind: high usage/low efficiency, not a good 3-pt shooter, and a poor (or disinterested) defender. I just don't see that kind of player succeeding in the Warriors system.
Wesley...hmmm... if we're looking toward this rookie's fit with our future core of Poole, Moody, Kuminga, and Wiseman... a 6'3" high usage/low efficiency guard doesn't seem like the greatest fit.
With Koloko, a seven footer who has improved his free throw shooting from 35% to 73.5% over three college seasons, can finish at the rim and has shot blocking instincts is definitely intriguing... but the fact that he's not moving up draft boards as an athletic seven footer suggests that his weaknesses are too glaring. GM's have been known to make mistakes, but seven footers with talent aren't exactly abundant so they usually don't slide this far unless they're very flawed or underscouted (if they're from a low profile program or another country). It's just way easier to see Koloko being out of the league by the end of his first contract than fitting our system.
Braun has a few things that I actually like enough to think he's one of my preferred prospects: he seems to have great feel on both ends of the court, he has potential as a catch-and-shoot guy on the wing/corners, and he knows how to contribute offensively without being a ball dominant player/primary ball handler. Strength can be added and an offense like the Warriors' can hide some of his other weaknesses. I think it comes down to what DeanonDraft said: "he also doesn’t need that much to go right to be a decent rotation player." I mean, at #28, what more can you ask for?
Apricot says: This playoff run shows the importance of getting a player who can put pressure on the rim off the dribble.
If Wesley comes around, he could be a Poole or Donovan Mitchell, but his shot is erratic enough that you’re betting it can be fixed. McGowens seems to have too many issues compared to Wesley. Koloko seems like you’l get Festus Ezeli for sure and maybe JaVale McGee if all goes well. Braun’s flaws from the Spinella video are: bad self-creation (not an issue in Kerr ball), PNR playmaking (not an issue in Kerrball) and strength (he’s plus athletic in college, so an NBA program could help here). If all goes well, you maybe get a Desmond Bane.
My pick is Wesley as a higher reward / risk prospect, with Braun a close second.
EJ Liddell 47% ADVANCES
Jake LaRavia 40%
Jaden Hardy 9%
David Roddy 4%
Apricot says: This is a rough group for me because
- I love oddball hard-to-project players (Roddy),
- I think GSW should take a high risk high reward swing (Hardy)
- I love Dray type smart players (Liddell)
- I think LaRavia is the most likely to have a role next year
but I’ve finally decided to live by my own code. I said that the top priority is to take a high risk high reward player, and that player is Jaden Hardy, unless there are character issues we don’t know about.
He was a Top-5-pick talent who has fallen due to a terrible start in the G-League and has steadily improved. The biggest thing GSW lacks is a driver who can put pressure on the rim. Today we have Steph (one of the all time greats at that) and Poole who can feast only on non-shot-blocking defenses for today. Oh yeah I have LOTS of concerns! But anyone who falls to #28 with high upside will have serious concerns (or they would have gone in the lottery.
Nate P says. Like many others, this one comes down to Liddell and LaRavia for me.
LaRavia gets my vote.
I’ve mentioned this on the other draft threads already — and Belilaugh has really laid out the case quite clearly already — but LaRavia just seems like he is ready-made for the Warriors system. Like I can imagine his style fitting in almost immediately. At this stage in the draft, that’s a big plus.
Liddell looks like he has a much higher upside and the shooting flaws described in the video can be corrected with NBA strength training (i.e. that scissor kick he does with his shot is a tell tale sign of a strength issue. Interestingly, Josh Giddey had the same issue as a prospect and I really felt strongly that he was a top prospect …we’ll see how his shooting evolves tho…). Otherwise, give him a year or so to adjust and I think this guy can contribute and I see how he could maybe have a ceiling of following a similar career arc as Paul Millsap.
What broke the tie for me is that I really don’t believe Liddell will be around at #28 so I’m trying to work the draft tournament system a little bit to keep a player in this thing who I like AND is more likely to be there at 28. 😎 Also, this way I don’t get further attached to Liddell only to be let down later lol So LaRavia it is! (Lol I really just couldn’t decide and I think LaRavia is tailor made for our team … so that was my backwards way of saying I like LaRavia.)
Jalen Williams 66% ADVANCES
Kendall Brown 15%
MarJon Beauchamp 13%
Nikola Jovic 5%
Apricot says: Jovic, I don't see the appeal. He seems so far away. Beauchamp, he's older and a kind of jack of all trades. Brown has the high-upside high-risk profile I like.
I'm torn between Brown and Jalen Williams.
With Brown you're betting that the offensive side comes together and he can play in a complex scheme. With Williams, you're betting that his shot creation translates to the NBA and his 3 point shot sticks.
So I'll go Williams because we already have a Kuminga in the "thermonuclear athlete trying to get solid" category.
Nate P says: My vote is Williams … and it wasn’t very hard for me.
Full disclosure, I came into this tournament with Williams and LaRavia as two of my favorites so I needed to someone in this group to knock off Williams … and I don’t think I got that.
The reason he’s my choice here and others weren’t is I think I have a bias toward skills you can’t really teach: court vision and the combo of length & timing on D. Just about everything else — with maybe the exception of certain shooting problems — can be learned with professional level coaching/development/physical training. But the way Williams — and Jovic, to a certain extent — see the game really stands out this far down in the draft. Williams’ weaknesses don’t bother me much because a) he wouldn’t be a high usage point guard on the Warriors (or anywhere I suspect) and so b) he’ll be more of an off ball defender where his length and disruptiveness will be a real asset. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to think he could be a valuable a piece down the road as late career Livingston, who didn’t have the quicks/athleticism to run point full time but made for a really awesome secondary creator off the bench who could handle some defensive assignments using length alone. If we’re looking for someone down the line to play next to Poole on the wing with Wiseman at center, I think a guy who can contribute as a long help defender, create offense for others, and maybe knock down catch and shoot opportunities is pretty ideal.
Again, I’m not sure he WILL become all that, but he has the requisite tools to POSSIBLY become that, which I’m just not sure the others have. And at this point in the draft, I want guys with the best shot to carve out a career and having some of those skills that can’t really be taught is part of that.
And because of all that, I’m having a hard time believing Williams will be around at 28 … but let’s hope 🤷🏾♂️
Wendell Moore 68% ADVANCES
Walker Kessler 16%
Trevor Keels 11%
Patrick Baldwin Jr. 5%
Apricot says: This group is expecially hard for me, as it really really tests my theoretical commitment to (1) high-risk high-reward, (2) defensive terror big, (3) draft and stash.
Patrick Baldwin Jr is the ultra swing for the fences pick. But the self-destructive choice to play for his dad, plus the injuries, make this a bridge too far for me.
Walker Kessler in a weird way is both the defensive terror and a big swing. The worst case is Shawn Bradley. The best case, if Kessler can somehow defend in space, then you've got a playoff playable Rudy Gobert. But... that's just too big a swing for me.
Wendell Moore is the most likely to stick in the pros, but it isn't a big enough swing for me.
That leaves my pick, Trevor Keels. He was an elite shooter in HS and his small sample size performance at Duke dropped his value a lot, plus his decision to come out a year too early. If that shooting is real and didn't just disappear in college, you combine that with a guy who can get to the rim and draw fouls. Rim pressure off the dribble plus elite shooting is a real tasty package. It's a dream, but #28 is for dreaming.
Nate P says: This came down to Moore vs. Keels to me. I really tried to talk myself into Keels, but he feels further away from contributing even at his most optimistic outcome.
There have been a lot of comparisons to Lu Dort and I get why, but for two guards that relied heavily on their strength to score off the drive I found a key difference: Dort also used his strength to draw a lot of free throw attempts (6.1 FTA/G; FTrate of 48%) whereas Keels really didn’t draw fouls at the rate you’d expect from such a physical player (2.7 FTA/G; FTrate of 27.6%). And I think that’s sort of concrete way of thinking through the impact of some of his weaknesses: he’s not a great finisher because he’s not that crafty a ball handler, doesn’t seem to go left often, isn’t an explosive athlete and doesn’t really have the mid-range game to get defenders off balance. So his game is predicated on bullying his way to the rim, but it doesn’t work consistently against college defenders. So it seems really unlikely that his style of play offensively at Duke translates to the pros, which means you’re waiting on his jumper and hoping teams respect that jumper enough to open up his play making. And while his defense has drawn mixed reviews, people are fairly consistent with the idea that he gets beat fairly easily when put in space/motion because he doesn’t have elite athleticism. Also really concerned about his ability to defend bigger wings unless he can cross match somehow. So I really see an uphill climb for this guy to make it… and I don’t necessarily see a high ceiling at the end of that climb.
If the Warriors were to draft Keels, I would trust Myers & Co. enough to believe that there are intangibles there that make it worth the effort to help him develop into a productive player… but I’m struggling to see it from here.
So it sort of ends up being Moore by default from this group because he has demonstrated clear strengths in college (unlike Baldwin) and I can see how the Warriors system would actually enhance his development given the strengths he has (unlike Kessler).
Group E, the people’s choice, shown out of competition
Nate P says: So … this group is …interesting…
A lot of these guys are worth discussing because they had interesting profiles, but they also all looked like dime a dozen guys … that you might find in the G-League…
So I’m basing my vote for this group on the most superficial thing possible: at just before the 1:19 mark in Dalen Terry’s video, he cut off his opponent’s drive on defense with his superior length and then clapped in the guy’s face before just taking the ball. KEEP THAT SAME ENERGY in the NBA next to Draymond and GP2 and I’ll be a very happy Warriors fan lol
But seriously, his defensive energy was the thing that excited me most of any of these guys so Dalen Terry is definitely getting my vote here.
Also it is not lost on me that Terry’s statistical profile is remarkably similar to Pat McCaw’s … I’m just hoping that putting up similar numbers against a stronger SOS bodes well … https://www.nbadraft.net/players/dalen-terry/
The Original Announcement
We are having a Draft Tournament after the Finals. We include the consensus mock draft #21 through #28 picks. We exclude mock picks #1 through #20 as they very rarely fall to #28. I filled out a field of 16 with wildcard players who have been mocked for GSW or otherwise chosen as sleeper picks by multiple interesting sources.
1. Yes, we are having a Draft Tournament
Yes, we are still having our third annual DNHQ Draft Tournament, where Dub Nation gets to vote on whom the Warriors should draft via head to head showdowns.
I was waiting to run it after the Warriors playoff run ended… but the Dubs have stubbornly and gloriously fought to the very end of the Finals, which is running through Jun 16 for sure and potentially Game 7 on Jun 19, just four days before the Draft (Jun 23 2022, 5pm).
(Comparison: last year, we started the Draft Tourney four weeks before draft because we had a lot of time to kill during the playoffs.)
Because of the shortened timeline, we’ll have to interleave the draft tournament with the Finals and have the prospects duel in groups of 4.
2. I am excluding players mocked to go #20 and earlier
I am going to exclude all prospects whose average mock draft slot1 is above #20.
Wait, don’t high rated players fall?
Yes, but not as far as you might think. Here is the complete list of Top 20 consensus mock draft2 players from the last four drafts that fell to #28 or lower.
2019. Keldon Johnson (#14 mock, #29 real), Bol Bol (#18 to #44)
So, it might happen, but it’s not worth our voting on.
3. I am including players mocked to be taken #21 through #28
The obvious first idea is to take all the players consensus-ranked (average ranking of prominent mock drafts) at spots #21 through #28, so we did that. Because of the differences between rankers, there are more than exactly 8 players in this category.
Wait, I thought you said high rated players don’t fall!
The Top 20 mock picks rarely falls to #28. But mock picks #21-#28 do frequently fall to #28. Down here, there is a lot of difference in player evaluation.
Jaden Springer (#25 mock, #28 real)
Miles McBride (#26 to #36)
Jared Butler (#22 to #40)
Sharife Cooper (#27 to #48)
Jaden McDaniels (#26 to #28)
Desmond Bane #27 to #30)
Tyrell Terry (#21 to #31)
Théo Maledon (#22 to #34)
Jahmi'us Ramsey (#24 to #43)
Nico Mannion (#25 to #48)
Kevin Porter Jr. (#26 to #30)
Nic Claxton (#24 to #31)
Bruno Fernando (#21 to #34)
Eric Paschall (#22 to #41)
Elie Okobo (#23 to #31)
Džanan Musa (#24 to #29)
De'Anthony Melton (#25 to #46)
Khyri Thomas (#27 to #38)
Keita Bates-Diop (#28 to #48)
4. I added some Wild Card players
Then I looked at a number of interested draft commenters who gave me these suggestions:
The Warriors actually met with
Alondes Williams (Mr. Escobar shirt)
at the NBA Combine.
Christian Koloko worked out for GSW on May 31.
David Roddy said he would workout for GSW on Jun 3.
Dean On Draft
From his rundown of top prospects, we are missing:
Actual Mock Drafts for GSW at #28
Christian Braun (ESPN)
Terquavion Smith (SI)
Christian Koloko (B/R, The Ringer)
Dalen Terry (USA Today)
Wendall Moore (Tankathon)
Jake LaRavia (The Athletic)
So, I’ve made the decision to select these interesting prospects:
which makes yes 17 players. So I am making the executive decision to eject Kennedy Chandler from the field. He measures under 6 foot, he is not a great shooter and is not great on defense. I just cannot imagine GSW drafting him, especially given Kerr’s preference for large guards.
I then split our final field into four Groups of 4.
5. So here is the Final Field
You may think my top secret algorithm I used to make the groups is silly or lazy. Silly maybe, but I assure you that it was not lazy… I tried a number of different approaches including different randomizations, grouping by size, grouping by theme (Bigs, Jacks of All Trades, Bucket Getters, Mysteries), having each theme represented in each group, sorted by last name, and in the end, this grouping is just the most fun to argue about and has a simplicity to it.
Hoops Distillery has helpfully collected many major draft mocks and I’m using the list as of 5/18: ESPN, SI, B/R, The Athletic, The Ringer, USA Today, SB Nation, Tankathon. I also added CBS, NBA Draft and Yahoo!